July 2012

Leakage as historiographic genre @ HES 2012


[This post was written three weeks ago on antiquated in to paper media and it has taken me this long to post it online. ]

If the meetings of European historians of economics are urbane and cosmopolitan, the meetings of American historians are, by contrast, frank and toilful. The setting is often rural. Our 2012 host was Brock University in Ontario’s wine country. We were treated to a liquid dinner at the concluding banquet. To my taste the wines were sweet and light, though my palate lacks the lexicon to report the experience in full.

Read more

Inclusive wealth and the history of GDP

The International Human Dimensions Programme on Global Environmental Change (IHDP) recently published the Inclusive Wealth Report 2012, in which the authors propose a measure of wealth based on the stock of capital present in a country, as opposed to the flow measure of GDP. It is an important step towards a more explicit recognition of the sustainability of the economy’s use of resources, and is so obviously analogous to the standard assets-based way of accounting and estimating wealth in the corporate sector that one wonders why on earth it took so long to appear on the scene. Read more

Interdisciplinarity and education @H2S workshop

A few weeks ago, I attended the H2S 4th workshop on "Cross disciplinary ventures in postwar American Social Sciences," (research program outline here Read more

The Visible Hand Writing History

[We are inaugurating something new in this blog: a jointly written post!]

  Let’s propose an exercise (simplistic in many dimensions). Read the following abstract of a paper and decide whether or not it looks publishable in either A) a top economics journal or B) a top history of economics journal? Read more

Economists Coming of Age

Last weekend, I was in Tübingen - very close to my home town: the same smell, the same surreal Swabian idyll that makes you think of Hölderlin and Hesse rather than DSGE. Students from the German Studienstiftung (a public foundation sponsoring outstanding students), organized a workshop on “Rethinking Economics”. It took me back to my past, not only home, but also back to my first years as a student of economics. It is in these years that intellectual creativity is channeled, held back, and then needs events like this to be released again.

Read more

Economics and computation in the postwar period: managing scarcity


“We choose this stochastic structure for computational reasons. This reduces the dimension of the variables. With (such and such) alternative, the computational burden would have dramatically increased.”